Phygital Marketing in Sports: Benefits and Best Practices Revealed

phygital marketing


What is Phygital Marketing?

Before we delve into corner kicks and goal celebrations, let’s kick off with the basics. Phygital Marketing is the star player that unites the physical and digital worlds, creating an immersive experience. Picture this: walking into the stadium of AC Milan wearing and Rafael Leão jersey, and seeing his stats throughout the game just by tapping your jersey with your phone.

Later in the game, Leão scores a goal, and all fans who own his jersey receive a targeted and exclusive push notification offering 50% off at concessions. Cool, right?

For instance, the Swiss football club St. Gallen took the Phygital experience to another level. They integrated NFC technology into their scarves, which allowed season ticket holders to use their scarves as entry tickets to the stadium. Fans simply have to tap their scarves at the entrance, enhancing the matchday experience and bridging the gap between the tangible and digital worlds. With the scarf as the ticket into the stadium, more fans enter in the club’s colors, green and white.

Why Phygital Marketing Matters for Sports Clubs

Sports clubs, like FC Barcelona, AC Milan, or Inter, aren’t just teams; they are also brands. Phygital Marketing offers these clubs a golden ticket to engage fans like never before and score big in terms of loyalty and revenue.

For sports clubs looking to venture into Phygital Marketing, forming partnerships and collaborations can be instrumental in unlocking success. Here’s how collaborations play a vital role:

  • Access to Expertise and Technology: By partnering with tech companies, sports clubs can gain access to cutting-edge technology and expertise that they might not have in-house. This can facilitate the implementation of innovative Phygital features and campaigns.
  • Cost-sharing and Financial Support: Collaborating with sponsors can help sports clubs in sharing the financial burden of integrating Phygital Marketing. Sponsors can offer financial support, and in return, gain visibility through the club’s Phygital platforms, and products.
  • Enhanced Fan Experiences through Branded Content: Partnerships with brands can lead to the creation of exclusive branded content for fans. For example, a sports brand could offer virtual try-ons of their latest gear through AR within the club’s app.
  • Data Analysis and Fan Insights: Data companies can help sports clubs analyze fan data gathered through Phygital platforms. This partnership can offer valuable insights into fan behavior, which can be used to create more targeted and effective campaigns.
  • Community Engagement and Social Initiatives: Clubs can also collaborate with local organizations and charities to promote social initiatives through their Phygital platforms. This can improve the club’s image and foster a sense of community.

Through strategic partnerships and collaborations, sports clubs can tap into a reservoir of resources, expertise, and opportunities that can vastly enhance the effectiveness of their Phygital Marketing campaigns.

4 Ways to Benefit from Phygital Marketing Strategies

1. Revenue Boost through Phygital Integration

One of the striking benefits of integrating Phygital technology in sports clubs is the positive impact it has on revenue. According to recent studies, customers are willing to spend more on products with Phygital features. Astonishingly, some are even willing to pay up to 20% more for the same product if it includes Phygital technology.

This willingness to spend extra reflects the perceived value and enhanced experience that Phygital integration brings. For sports clubs, this translates into increased ticket sales, higher merchandise revenue, and a strengthened brand.

2. Direct Fan Communication and Upselling Opportunities

Phygital Marketing is not just about enhancing fan experiences – it’s also a powerful communication tool. Through Phygital integrations, sports clubs can establish direct channels of communication with their fans. This connectivity opens up avenues for providing fans with real-time updates, exclusive content, and personalized offers.

Moreover, direct communication lays the foundation for effective upselling. Clubs can strategically promote add-ons, upgrades, or exclusive merchandise. For instance, a fan who buys a ticket to a match could receive a message offering a discounted club jersey or a special meet-and-greet package.

The combination of personalized engagement and strategic promotion creates a win-win situation; fans enjoy a richer experience and sports clubs see increased per-customer revenue.

3. Contributing to Environmental Sustainability

Beyond the immediate fan engagement and economic benefits, Phygital Marketing also plays a pivotal role in promoting environmental sustainability. Here’s how:

  • Reducing Paper Waste: By digitizing tickets, promotional materials, and other paper-based elements, Phygital Marketing reduces paper consumption and waste. For instance, using mobile tickets and digital fan engagement platforms eliminates the need for physical tickets and flyers.
  • Promoting Sustainable Practices: Phygital platforms can also be used to educate and encourage fans to adopt sustainable practices. For instance, clubs can share information about their own sustainability initiatives and incentivize fans for participating in green practices.
  • Lowering Carbon Footprint with Virtual Events: Phygital Marketing can also lower carbon footprint by enabling virtual fan experiences. This can reduce the need for travel and physical attendance at events, which in turn decreases greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation.

In a world that is increasingly conscious about environmental issues, incorporating sustainability into Phygital Marketing strategies not only contributes to a greener planet but also resonates with the values of a growing environmentally-aware fanbase.

4. Empowering Grassroots Sports

While elite clubs have been the forerunners in adopting Phygital Marketing, it’s important to recognize the immense potential it holds for grassroots sports and smaller clubs. Here’s why Phygital Marketing is a game-changer for them:

  • Higher Engagement Levels: Small clubs often have a tight-knit community of ardent supporters. With Phygital Marketing, these clubs can leverage the high engagement levels to create personalized experiences for fans, foster a sense of belonging, and strengthen community bonds.
  • Promoting Local Talent: Through Phygital platforms, smaller clubs can showcase the talents of local players, share their stories, and garner support. This not only boosts the morale of the players but also puts them on the radar for potential opportunities.
  • Attracting Sponsorships: With a dedicated and engaged fanbase, smaller clubs become attractive for local businesses and sponsors. Phygital Marketing can be used to provide sponsors with innovative advertising opportunities, such as digital banners, in-app promotions, and social media shout-outs. These advertising tools are different from traditional static sponsorship assets as they can be altered at any given time for targeted offers and higher engagement.
  • Cost-effective Promotions: Phygital Marketing allows for targeted and cost-effective promotional campaigns. Smaller clubs can use digital platforms to promote events, matches, and initiatives to a relevant audience without the high costs associated with traditional advertising.

By embracing Phygital Marketing, grassroots sports clubs can punch above their weight, building a strong community, promoting talent, and generating revenue through sponsorships and targeted promotions.

5. Immersive Fan Experiences in Real Time

One of the defining features of Phygital Marketing is its ability to create real-time interactivity, which can significantly enhance the fan experience during live sports events. Here are some ways in which it can be achieved:

  • Live Polls and Quizzes: Through mobile apps or social media, fans can participate in live polls and quizzes related to the ongoing match. This keeps the audience engaged and makes them feel like they are a part of the action.
  • Instant Replays on Mobile Devices: Phygital Marketing can enable fans to watch instant replays of exciting moments on their mobile devices. This ensures that no one misses out on the key moments, regardless of where they are seated in the stadium.
  • Real-time Statistics and Insights: Fans can have access to real-time statistics, such as player performance data, through Phygital platforms. This can enhance their understanding and enjoyment of the game.
  • Interactive Seat Maps: Fans can use interactive seat maps to not only find their seats but also to order food and beverages directly to their seats.
  • Augmented Reality Experiences: Using AR, fans can access exclusive content, such as 3D models of players or interactive games, through their mobile devices.
  • Social Media Integration: Encouraging fans to share their experiences on social media in real-time can create a buzz around the event and foster a sense of community.

By implementing real-time interactivity features, Phygital Marketing ensures that fans are not just passive spectators but active participants in live sports events. This can significantly enhance their overall experience and foster loyalty towards the sports club.

Innovative Case Studies

McLaren Racing’s Living Posters

McLaren Racing hit the accelerator with their Living Posters. In collaboration with collectID and their official blockchain partner, Tezos, they created posters with encrypted NFC tags. When a fan scanned the tag with a smartphone, a digital twin of the poster appeared on the blockchain, validating its uniqueness and giving access to exclusive experiences. Zooming through with an 83% registration rate, the fans were clearly in the fast lane of engagement.

Kappa’s Deportivo de La Coruña Jerseys

Kappa and Deportivo de La Coruña scored a winner by embedding NFC tags in jerseys. These tags led fans to information about the materials and production process, emphasizing sustainability. Plus, it didn’t stop at education – the technology offered exclusive experiences and discounts. With a tapping rate of 32.1% and a registration rate of 30.1%, fans were clearly sporting their support for the club’s sustainable jersey.

Challenges and Opportunities with Phygital Marketing

While Phygital Marketing offers numerous benefits, sports clubs might face certain challenges in integrating these technologies. Here’s a rundown of common challenges and solutions:

  • Initial Cost of Integration: Implementing Phygital Marketing may require initial investment in technology and infrastructure. Solution: Clubs can approach this by starting small and scaling up gradually. Additionally, seeking partnerships or sponsorships specifically for technological integration can help in sharing costs.
  • Training and Adaptation: Staff and management may need to adapt to new technologies, and this could require training. Solution: Offering comprehensive training programs and continuous support helps in smoothing the transition. Encouraging a culture of innovation within the organization can also be beneficial.
  • Compatibility with Existing Systems: Sometimes, the new technologies might not be compatible with the club’s existing systems. Solution: Thorough research and consultation with technology providers before implementation can help in selecting solutions that are compatible or can be integrated with minimal disruption.
  • Data Privacy and Security Concerns: Handling fan data through Phygital platforms raises concerns regarding data privacy and security. Solution: Implementing robust security measures, being transparent with fans about how their data is used, and complying with data protection regulations are critical steps in addressing these concerns.
  • Keeping Up with Evolving Technologies: Technology is ever-evolving, and staying updated can be a challenge. Solution: Regularly reviewing the technological landscape and being open to adopting new innovations can help clubs stay ahead. Building relationships with technology providers can also keep clubs informed of the latest advancements.

By anticipating these challenges and implementing thoughtful solutions, sports clubs can effectively integrate Phygital Marketing and unlock its full potential.


The world of sports clubs is being transformed by Phygital Marketing. It’s like a thrilling match with endless possibilities. Whether you’re an ardent fan or a sports club executive, embracing Phygital Marketing is the game-changer you’ve been waiting for. Ready to join the winning team?

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